In Memory of Kenneth F. Kittelberger

Kenneth Kittelberger

Ken was the previous owner of Wood Badge Stuff. His family wanted this website to continue so they have sold it to Doug Bearce to continue providing Wood Badgers quality products.

Ken became an Eagle Scout in Troop 108, Webster, NY, Oct 31, 1952, with Palms. He was a Vigil honor member of the Order of the Arrow. He remained active in Scouting in Europe, Asia, and the United States for more than 75 years.

Scouting was a life-long adventure for Ken. He enjoyed working with youth and adults.

He became a Wood Badge Course Director in Transatlantic Council (TAC), staffing several courses at Gilwell Park, England, and five more in Baltimore Area Council (BAC).

In 1975, Ken was appointed as a Chapter Advisor in Black Eagle Lodge, TAC. At that time, prior to the internet, Ken faced many obstacles common to an overseas OA Lodge, where military and civilian membership generally changes every 3 years due to families rotating to and from overseas. He soon discovered that the Chapter membership roster was very out of date. Through his meticulous efforts, he spent many hours updating and computerizing lodge records. In 1976, Ken became Black Eagle Lodge Advisor. Upon his departure from Europe, Ken was appointed BEL’s “Official Historian”.

While still in Europe, Ken produced one of the first Eagle Scout ceremony booklets used there. He also produced the first NESA Eagle Scout light box for use at TAC Eagle Courts of Honor, traveling many miles to attend and take part in 30 or more ceremonies. At the time, the NESA Light Box was a very innovative invention and quite cumbersome.

When he returned to the States in 1978, in the Baltimore Council, Ken started to accumulate everything issued by Black Eagle Lodge. In 2002, he decided to write a book depicting every known issue from the Lodge and Chapters since 1952. He updated the book in 2015, including

148 pages, with 133 in color depicting 410 patches, neckerchiefs, and pins. For each item, he included a brief history of the activity and any other information he could verify.

Ken’s work was the first, most accurate history of the Lodge and Lodge issues, and formed the basis of several other histories and data published among collectors.

A long-time resident of Columbia, MD, Ken was very active in the Baltimore council as a unit leader and committee chairman. There, he took great pride in some 70 Eagle Scout ceremonies he helped to plan and lead. At camporees, he was known for his nature displays and for reciting from memory some 32 species supportive of the Nature Merit Badge. In the 1980’s he served as Director of the Council’s Train the Trainer Course.

Ken's interest in the history of the origins of Scouting coupled with his meticulous research soon established his reputation as one of the foremost historians on Scouting’s founder, Baden Powell. He worked closely with several members of the BP family, and wrote many scholarly manuscripts about BP. His documentation of memorabilia BP produced from the turn of the century to present remains one of the most useful sources available to historians and collectors. In fact, much of his work continues to be used as a reference by the British Scout Association, according to archivists there. In 2008, Ken took part in the Centennial History of Scouting Symposium held at John Hopkins University, hosting a display of selected rare Baden-Powell items, many of which were one of a kind. Ken and his BP Collection were featured in news media, including American Scouting Digest magazine.

Although he remained active in the Baltimore Council for 30 years, he also retained his membership in Transatlantic Council and Black Eagle Lodge, becoming one of the few Order of the Arrow Brothers named an honorary Life Member. He was a Life member of NESA. He served as a Museum docent on the staff of several BSA National Scout Jamborees and the World Jamboree in England, serving as a Gilwell Guide. He held many awards including the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, the Silver Beaver Award, and Silver Elephant Award.

Ken was named a Knight Grand Cross, Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great.

He was a James West Fellow in the Boy Scouts of America, and Baden-Powell Fellow of the World Scout Foundation.